In the last post I made the point that the only time anything is accomplished is in the present moment. Nothing has changed since the last post. All accomplishment occurs in the present moment. The present moment is made relevant, however, by both the past and the future. Simply put, if you want to make the most out of now, you must have an appreciation for the past and expectations for the future. What is ‘now’? The best way to think about it is that ‘now’ is the expected amount of time needed for something to happen. A mom telling her son to take the trash out now has an expected response time of less than a minute. A CEO speaking to the leadership team of an under-performing business unit about the need to turn the business around now would have an expected response time measured in weeks or months. There is no getting away from the ambiguous nature of ‘now’. If we are at all concerned with accomplishment, we need to agree on the time period defined as ‘now’ for the unique situation in question.
Bowling provides an excellent example of this entire concept. Bowling has a well documented history, which clearly frames the current situation. There is nothing happening today in the world of Bowling which is a mystery. The future for Bowling can also be clearly planned. Although there may not be agreement on specific strategies and tactics, all stakeholders in Bowling can agree that competitive bowling is a valued part of the world of Bowling and should be protected. There is similar agreement on the need for more people to be bowling and more games being bowled. There is even agreement that in the long term all major stakeholders will have to work together to realize a positive future for Bowling. A final point of agreement is that major change in Bowling is needed now. The problem comes as it frequently does with the present moment action and the definition of ‘now’.
In order for Bowling to have a successful future, the time frame for positive action to be taken is two to three years. That is our ‘now’. If Bowling is not well positioned for the future by that point in time, it becomes more difficult to see a future for Bowling as a nationally accepted recreational offering with a sport component.
In recent years, there have been major changes in the support structures for Bowling. Today, the International Bowling Campus (IBC) is a reality. The USBC, BPAA, and the Hall of Fame are all located in one building. New staff leaders for all three organizations have been hired and are functioning. It is time for the action to begin. The ‘now-clock’ is running. We need to see and understand the plan new leadership has for creating a positive future. The 621 Plan, named after the street address of the IBC (621 Six Flags Drive), must give us a clear vision, well defined steps, and a firm timeline for performance. We need to have the 621 Plan ‘now’, where ‘now’ is measured in a low number of weeks.
I strongly encourage all readers of this message who have a sincere interest in the future of Bowling to read the piece titled, “In Support of Bowling” listed in the ‘Pages’ section of the my blog website (www.JoeSchumacker.com). The document was originally written to provide a context in which the new BPAA and USBC Executive Directors would begin to form their ideas concerning the substance of the 621 Plan. The document provides interested readers with the relevant history of Bowling, an outline of a plan for the future, and recommendations for present moment action. I wrote the piece to be informative, but as importantly, to stimulate discussion between interested parties. I encourage you to engage in the process of discussion. Challenge me (use the blog comments section, send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or give me a call (954-547-4196), and more importantly, challenge those individuals with current decision making authority to articulate our ideas, define our concepts, and commit to a course of action. If we do not create discussion now, we will be in the position of having to accept the default result rather than an optimal result later.
Taking It Deeper
“In Support of Bowling” – Joe Schumacker, August 2009.